Is giving a link to defamatory material ‘publishing’ it?

I cannot control what is on another site. But if I give a link to a page containing defamatory material on it, am I liable for ‘publishing’ / repeating it?

Does it matter if the link is an HTML link, i.e. clicking on it takes you to the material, or just the name of the site in question and someone would have to, for example, type in the name themselves?

In short, could I get into trouble for linking to stories on, say, Private Eye? Does it matter if I know that someone objects to them?

7 viewsdefamation law

Alasdair Taylor's Answer

I can’t really do any better than point you in the direction of this note from Farrers:

http://www.farrer.co.uk/Global/Briefings/10.%20Media%20Group%20Briefing/Hyperlink%20publication%20and%20defamation_The%20Application%20of%20Crookes%20v%20Newton%20to%20English%20Law.pdf

I’m not aware of any cases that have altered the position since December 2011 when that note was written, and the new Defamation Act hasn’t altered the common law “definition” of publication.

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